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Yankee_lake

Live bait

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I understand that live bait isnt used in tourneys or anything but no1 ever talks about using it.  Why not? People around me in new york catch the most and biggest bass of minnows. Its actually smart since they use a small hook and break and catch bait, then use that to fish.  The bigger the bait the bigger the bass. How come no1 ever talks about using it?

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We have had a few posts about live bait. Roadworrior fishes live bait a lot and always touches on the topic from time to time. I grew up slinging wild shinners myself.

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To this day I've never saw bigger bass than the 2 I've lost{ >:(} using live bait. One hit a crawler dropped next to a pontoon {he actually inhaled my bobber first} and one lost off a super jumbo leech.

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They love nightcrawlers, too.

Only problem is that every other fish loves nightcrawlers, too.

I have caught more bream than bass on live worms.  

Never have tried live minnows.  Will have to do so this summer.

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Most guys here don't fish live bait mainly because it's kinda like cheatin' to them, myself included.

I only use live bait w/ kids or a girl who I'm tring to get interested in fishing or who I don't want to be bored.

The level of fishing that I consider myself at , is one where satisfaction comes with "creating" a bite. Figuring the fish out and offereing somthing that will be presented correctly enough to fool them into a bite. "Shiner " fishing kind of defeats that. It's like "Anyone can catch on shiners" .  

Look at it like this, live bait is a great way to get and keep newbies interested in the sport and can be considered the 1st lure to "learn" before moving on to the next new lure in the hopes of becoming a versatile, proficient angler.

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the only time i use live bait is when im fishing for bluegill at small streams. i never use live bait for bass. to me thats like shooting pen raised pheasants. it makes it to easy. i want a challenge because i would rather say that i caught a 8 lb largemouth on a t-rigged plastic worm than on a bunch of nightcrawlers under a bobber.

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:(  live bait is cheatin....and kills too many bass from gut hooks.  but works good for grannys and little kids.  i would hate to think that i killed an 8#bass from a gut hook. just to be able to go online and brag. how about trammel nets?

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I get to frusterated using live bait like worms bc little bluegills always steal ur worm and it gets everything messy

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hey i was using a live worm and i caught a 15.68 lb. bass and i wonder why they dont talk about using live bait either. i mean it's no dubt that all fish eat when people r not fishing is live fish and lizards and other live creatures down in the water

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Well, I fish artificials exclusively for largemouth bass, mostly because I like to. All the techniques, different lures and special rods and reels really add to my overall enjoyment of fishing.

Four years ago I started fishing with a guy who has become my best friend and fishing buddy. He was a tournament fisherman for twenty-five years or more, but his real passion is saltwater fishing. That's probably where he learned to fish live bait.

I started fishing live bait for big fish on the Tennessee River below Pickwick Dam. Prior to my first stiper trip with my new buddy, I never really caught big fish. That was about to change. That first trip I caught a couple of twenty pounders and at the time my PB, 27 lbs. I got hooked.

I mostly fish for stripers with live bait in the summer on the river, most of my largemouth fishing is on ponds. The kicker is smallmouth, really big smallmouth and lots of them.

I only started fishing for smallmouth on the Tennessee River a few years ago. My first trip was below Wilson Reservior or where Pickwick technically begins. I fished with Steve Hacker, a name you all have probably seen in some of the magazines, a pretty well known smallmouth guide. We fished artificials and I caught eight bass over a three day period. One of these babies was just under 5 lbs and I was pretty pleased. A few months later I started my striper fishing and that fall we went after the smallmouth with live minnows. I've never looked back.

The first autumn we didn't switch to smallmouth until October.We caught so many fish we could only keep track of bronzebacks over 5 lbs and in two months caught twenty-seven. That's when I learned the difference between "fishing" and "catching". Since then I've become focused on catching.

We'll start smallmouth fishing again in September. I guess some guys might consider it cheating, but there will be no asterisk (*) in the record books if that big girl comes in at 12 lbs 1 oz. We're at thirty-seven over 5 lbs for the calander year. I don't really care how much we increase that number, I just want to catch one fish.

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Live bait is just that, another bait. It's not cheating to use them, and it is not near as easy as those that haven't done it, think it is.

Our average client has a less than 50% hookup ratio with instruction and far less than that without. It is an expensive way to fish, but it is no way any guarantee of catch.

We don't use live bait all that often, and prefer artificial, but there are times and situations when live bait makes more sense.

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Im not going to say that useing live bait is cheating but it is not the same. you have a much better chance at catching a big bass when you use live bait .I would be much more happy to say that I caught a 12 pound bass on artifical bait then I would be to say I used live bait. Its also easyer to catch fish on live bait and it doesnt take much skill that is why you cant use in in tournys.

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The next world record largemouth bass will probably be caught in Florida, Texas or most likely, California. Big bass fishermen, those focused on something north of 22 lbs 4 oz., are fishing live bait. Not all of them and not all the time, but the big bass bait in Florida is a giant wild shiner. In California, the bait of choice is the crawdad (although I suspect it would be rainbow trout if that were legal).

Fishing for big fish is different than fishing for keepers. You don't "search" for fish as much as you fish areas where you think a big fish might be at some point in the day. It means fishing for hours or days or even weeks without a bite. It also means staying focused for hours on end in what others might consider down time.

Live bait is just another technique for those searching for the monster. It's not just about dangling a worm under a bobber. Visit trophybassonly on the web, it might surprise you just how many big fish are actually being caught and released on live bait.

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Wife's tale: you have a better chance at catching a big bass with live bait. False

Location is your chance at a big bass, and then the correct cast. During the course of the year with our clients we catch more big bass on artificial baits then we do on live bait.

Live shiners are choice bait in Florida: Again this is false. They are the choice bait for the "I've got a boat so now I am a guide" types.

Shiners have there place, and they are just another bait. They give no gurantee any more than any other bait, and they give no better chance. The only thing they make easier is getting bit if you don't know where to fish. If you drag them about long enough, over enough water, they will get bit. Hooking them is another matter. If you thing that's a guarantee, give it a try.

If you ever do come to Florida, and you ever do think of hiring a guide, do a little investigation, and get references. Calling oneself a guide does not make it so.

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Just my opinion a person new to fishing has a much better chance of catching a big bass on live bait .A averge fishermen has a better chance of catching a big bass with live bait .Now if your a pro you might have just as good a chance with artificals as live bait as long as they are fishing for the a big bass.Now that dont mean that someone that has never fished before cant throw a worm out for the first time ever and catch a 15lb bass.I agree your not going to go out and catch a big bass every time with live bait. You might not even catch a fish but if you fish with live bait for the whole year and someone just as good as you used artficals all year your going to catch more bigger bass .This is averge lakes im not talking about a lake that is loaded with 10lbs fish. Remember this is just what I think. I live in fl and I know there are just as many big bass caught on live bait as artificals and people fishing artificals have to out number live bait fishermen at least 10 to 1

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I prefer using artificials,but I don't have a problem with someone using live bait.For me the game is to try and fool a bass into biting a piece of plastic,wood,etc.I used minnows many years ago when the fishing got tough(like now).We'd drift fish using bobber and minnow over relatively shallow,stump filled,grassy flats.We'd catch white perch and yearling bass.At the time , we didn't care about how they were hooked because they were going in the frying pan anyway.I'm catch and release for the last ten years.

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if it isn't any easier why can't the pro's use them in tourney's? it takes a lot less skill to catch a fish with a minnow under a bobber then it is to figure out what type of soft plastic to use under the given conditions.

i have taken my twin 8 year old sister's fishing with me a lot. and they catch just as many "most of the time more" fish then i do using minnow's while i throw artifical baits. now i am not talking 10 pound bass but 1-3 pounders.  

live bait is great for beginners, when you want to catch a bunch, or when fishing is just really slow. it isn't cheating but i don't think it as rewarding

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It's just a matter of opinion I believe. I've caught big bass on live bait, and I've caught big bass on lures. I find them both enjoyable, but lures definitely are my choice 95% of the time. And I can't speak for Florida but here Shiners are a god send. We only get them for about 2 months a year and boy do they catch alot of big fish in that time.

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mike90,

The main reason the pros can't use live bait is because the money is provided by sponsors. Hooks, line, rods, reels, lures, boats and motors, it's the whole package that provides the money to run the sport at the professional level. All the money you and I spend are a part of their success.

The use of lures also brings in the "mystic" aspect to the sport. If there weren't complicated and technical aspects of competitive fishing then who would care? How often would you watch or read about guys pulling in nets of fish? I mean, a time or two on the Discovery Channel is about enough, isn't it?

Fishing used to be about catching fish to eat. We're WAY past that, or at least as it pertains to freshwater sport fishing. Some guy's favorite aspect of bass fishing is fooling the fish into striking. For others, including me, it's the fight.

I REALLY like fishing a variety of artificial lures and devote a great deal of my fishing time to developing or improving my skills using different techniques. There are techniques I don't like which are some peoples favorite, flipping comes to mind.

DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS.

So, as long as it's legal, I encourage everyone to fish the way they like and have fun. For me, that's catching Good 'ol Big'uns and Big 'ol Good'uns.

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Amen!As long as it's legal,fish like you want.I do.I'm paying for my fishing ,as I'm sure everyone else is.So do it like you like to do it ,no matter what anybody else thinks.

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roadwarrior- thanks for the little into. i never knew why they couldn't use live bait i always just figured it would appear to easy.

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eh i fish more artificals in the freshwater, then I do in saltwater

People who say you gut hook more fish on live bait are people who let it happen in my opinion, In all my years of saltwater fishing i have gut hooked 1 fish on live bait, and never one in my first year of fresh water fishing, but I have gut hooked some LMB on jigs.

Also I feel if you gonna rip a fish through and then out of the water, the least you could do is give it a meal for its troubles :P

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Guest avid

Live bait is NOT cheating.  What a laugh!  Tournament pros have $40,000 bass rigs equipped with satellite positioning systems, sonars, electronic topo maps, digital sensors, etc. etc. etc. and yet the guy fishing from the bank with a minnow he caught himself is cheating????

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